If you’re still in bed and reading this, don’t get up. There’s plenty of time for you to fit exercise into your daily routine with five simple exercises, and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your mattress.
Bent knee raise
A strong and healthy core will keep you moving for years to come and the bent knee raise is one move that can strengthen both your upper and lower core. It will improve your ability to get out of bed, rise from a chair and maintain your standing posture.
- Lying face up on your bed with your knees bent, tighten your abdominal muscles
- Lift your knees one at a time towards your chest. Hold for 5 seconds
- Return both legs to the floor
- Repeat 10 times.
Remember to exhale during the upward movement phase and inhale during the downward movement phase. In through your nose. Out through your mouth. Place your palms on the bed beside you for support.
If you want to stretch and extend your lower and mid-back muscles this exercise will help. It can even help with mid-back pain associated with postural strain, which means it could be easier for you to maintain good posture while sitting or standing.
- Lie face down on your bed with your hands palm down by your face
- Bring your head up slowly and arch your back
- Push up to your elbows
- Return to your starting position
- Repeat 10 times.
Again, you want to exhale through your mouth during the upward movement phase and inhale through your nose during the downward movement phase.
Be sure to maintain your hips on the bed.
Hands and knees
Sometimes called the ‘Cat and Camel’, this exercise works the entire core and improves overall balance and stability. This exercise stretches and extends your lower and mid-back muscles too, but it’s also a good exercise for loosening the pelvic area.
- Get on your hands and knees
- Keep your back in a neutral position (think of your back as a flat table)
- Round your back up and bring your head down, so that you look like a cat arching its back
- Then reverse the action by allowing your back to relaxing, forming the valley between a camels two humps
- Repeat 10 times.
Keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Tighten your tummy muscles and place your pelvis in a neutral position at the beginning.
If you have sore wrists, you can do this activity by lowering yourself onto your elbows.
Arm raises on your back
This little activity can improve the range of motion in your upper back and shoulders. If you correctly stabilise the lower back you can also strengthen your postural muscles, including your abs.
- Lying on your back, bend your knees
- Keep your lower back in neutral and your arms at your sides
- Begin by lifting your left arm off the bed to an upright position
- Return it to the bed
- Use the same lift and return action for your right arm
- Repeat 10 times with each arm.
It’s important not to twist or rotate your back. Keep this movement smooth and controlled.
Remember to breath.
This is a good exercise to stretch and extend your lower back and hip muscles. You can also use it to strengthen the pelvis and leg muscles, and buttocks.
- Get on your hands and knees and place your pelvis in a neutral position
- Bring your left leg back, extending it as far as you are comfortable
- Return to the start position
- Do the same movement with your right leg
- Repeat with both legs 10 times.
Try to keep your hips as still as possible as this will assist with stabilising and strengthening your pelvis.
If you suffer from arthritic hands, you might want to try doing this exercise from your elbows.
Remember to breathe.
You should always talk to your general practitioner or health professional before starting any exercise regime.